Sajad Haider, who flew with No. 19 squadron also stated that the F-104 Starfighter did not deserve its reputation as "the pride of the PAF" because it "was unsuited to the tactical environment of the region. It was a high-level interceptor designed to neutralize Soviet strategic bombers in altitudes above 40,000 feet." Nevertheless, the IAF is believed to have feared facing the Starfighter in combat despite its lack of effectiveness in comparison to the IAF's fleet of Folland Gnats. According to Indian sources, the F-86F performed reasonably well against the IAF's Hunters but not as well against the Gnat, which was nicknamed the Sabre Slayer by the IAF.
Per India, most of the aircraft losses of the IAF were allegedly on the ground while the PAF suffered most of their losses in aerial combat, a claim that has widely been accepted by most international sources as "a stretch".The IAF ran a larger offensive air campaign by devoting 40% of its air effort to offensive air support alone.
The two countries have made contradictory claims of combat losses during the war and few neutral sources have verified the claims of either country, as is the case with most India-Pakistan conflicts. The PAF claims that it shot down 104 IAF aircraft and lost 19 of its own, while the IAF claimed it shot down 73 PAF aircraft while losing 60 of its own. According to most independent and neutral sources, the PAF lost some 20 aircraft while the IAF lost somewhere between 60 and 75.
Despite the intense fighting throughout the course of the war, the conflict was effectively a stalemate and inconclusive in its result.
Indo-Pakistani War of 1971
Main articles: Bangladesh Liberation War and Indo-Pakistani War of 1971
PAF B-57 Canberra bombers lined up at an airbase.
By late 1971, the intensification of the independence movement in erstwhile East Pakistan led to the Ban